USDA orders repairs on animal labs
Washington-Federal animal health laboratories - the places where strains of anthrax, botulism and plague reside in the U.S. - are in dire need of repair, says a U.S. Department of Agriculture official.
There is "some urgency" to repair outdated laboratories in Ames, Iowa; Plum Island, N.Y.; and Athens, Ga., according to USDA Deputy Secretary Jim Moseley.
Information about the specifics of the repairs needed was undisclosed.
The USDA is contracting with Sandia Corp., a Lockheed Martin affiliate, to outline a security analysis of the agency's five labs that deal with dangerous materials. Another measure to improve farm security is to coordinate with the FAA to have access to military aircraft for transport of animal or food samples in case of emergency.